February 13th, 2012


From A to Z in the InCryptid Alphabet: F.

F is for FRAN (and FRICKENS).

Frances Brown was the Flower of Arizona, the Star of New Mexico, and the darling of the Campbell Family Circus, a small traveling show that stayed alive by hook, crook, and whatever means necessary until it ended in a hail of bullets and blame. Frannie grew up with the circus; she was found outside the main tent when she was barely a week old, tucked into a cardboard box filled with cotton batting. They named her after the snake handler's favorite python, and set her to work. By the time she was six, Fran could ride bareback, fling a knife knowing she'd catch her target, and charm the wallet right out of a townie's hand.

Fran left Arizona with Jonathan Healy after the circus closed, and the pair traveled to Buckley. Neither had marriage in mind when they arrived, and at first, all Fran wanted was to head back to the desert, where things made sense and the sky was a proper size. Then Enid led her into the woods and introduced her to the anuraves—little feathered frogs who flocked in the trees near the swamp. Fran was charmed, and dubbed them "frickens," a name which promptly stuck. She decided that maybe there was virtue in staying after all.

Frances Brown married Jonathan Healy, to the surprise of no one save for perhaps Jonathan. They had two children, Alice and Daniel, and buried one, long before he should have died. She did her best to do right by her family, and by herself, and by the world that she'd chosen to belong to.

No one ever made a choice for Frances Healy. She made all her choices for herself, and on the February evening when she walked into the woods and never walked back out, well. She made that choice, too.

They say she was the best.

They're not wrong.

One month to the end of Hugo nominations, and something for Dramatic Short Form consideration.

Point the first: If you are a member of Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, who joined before January 31, 2012, you are eligible to submit a nomination ballot for the 2012 Hugo Awards. The nomination deadline is now less than a month away. Please, please, consider nominating for the Hugos if you are eligible to do so. (Note: This is not the same as saying "please nominate me." The ballots are secret, and you can nominate whatever you damn well want. Nominate the best things you saw in 2011.) If you are not eligible to nominate, remember that buying a supporting membership now means you will receive the electronic voter packet, and be eligible to vote on the final ballot.

Point the second: If you're wondering who is or is not eligible, many authors have made convenient posts delineating their eligibility. My eligible works are listed here. Because I am occasionally lazy and do not want to do work that other people have already done for me, I wish to direct you to this fabulously hysterical post by Jim Hines, which helpfully links to a bunch of "what I am eligible for" posts by other people. Sometimes my laziness gives me an excuse to expose others to awesome. My life, so hard.

Point the third: As you know, I watch a lot of television, and hence often have very strong feelings about the Best Dramatic Short Form category (there's a shocker). I sometimes feel like American science fiction television winds up at a disadvantage compared to UK television, not because it's bad, but because the seasons are so much longer that it's far easier for us to "split the vote" during the nomination period, resulting in a ballot with three episodes of Doctor Who and nothing from, say, Fringe, which I would only love more if the producers started arranging for cupcake deliveries to my house every time there was a new episode. (Seriously, the episode "Peter" from season two should have been on last year's ballot, with bells on. It was sheer genius.) So I am asking you, as people who may not watch quite so much television, to consider a specific work for the 2012 ballot.

Specifically, I am asking you to consider Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, which is within the length-limit for the short form category. It's real science fiction, folks, seriously. Only with songs and a secret agent platypus. This show is inspiring the science fiction fans of tomorrow in a way that very little else currently is, and it inspires me, daily. You can view the whole thing on Netflicks; it re-runs regularly on Disney and Disney XD; and it's available on DVD. Please, if you haven't seen it already, give it a gander, and consider whether it might be worthy of your nomination.

"Every day is such a dream
When you start it with a monotreme..."

—from "Everything's Better With Perry."